Neuroscience

Adenosine and Sleep

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Science  28 Oct 2005:
Vol. 310, Issue 5748, pp. 593
DOI: 10.1126/science.310.5748.593b

Slow-wave sleep is intricately linked to sleep depth, sleep consolidation, and sleep quality. Slow-wave sleep is also a good measure of the need for sleep, and it is tightly regulated during development. There is accumulating evidence that the neuromodulator adenosine plays an important role in sleep and sleep regulation. Retey et al. analyzed the sleep phases and associated EEG patterns of study participants with different genetic variants of the adenosine-metabolizing enzyme adenosine deaminase and of the adenosine A2A receptor. A frequent functional polymorphism in the gene encoding adenosine deaminase contributes to the high inter-individual variability in sleep intensity. Slow-wave sleep was longer and sleep was more intense in participants with the 22G/A genotype than in those with the G/G genotype. Investigation of the A2A receptor polymorphism revealed that the EEG power in the 7.5- to10-Hz frequency range was higher in individuals with the 1976C/C genotype than in others expressing the T/T genotype. However, this difference was observed during the different sleep phases as well as during the waking state. Thus, several aspects of the well-known inter-individual variability in human sleep and the need for sleep are associated with polymorphisms in the adenosinergic system. — PRS

Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 102, 15676 (2005).

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